Hands on the Land: Art and the Environment in the Connecticut River Valley

March 18, 2021 – October 10, 2021

The natural world of the Connecticut River Valley has seen great changes over the past four centuries. At the Connecticut River Museum, we often use history and science to teach our visitors about these changes. This year, we are partnering with the Lyme Art Association for an exhibit that uses art as our guide to the changes in our natural world. Hands on the Land: Art and the Environment in the Connecticut River Valley is a collaborative exhibit showcasing 40 works of art that speak to human impact on the land.

Human impact on the Connecticut River and its Valley includes four centuries of settlement, altering the landscape through agriculture, transportation, industry, power, and recreation. We asked artists to share personal reflections or interpretations of impact along New England’s Great River hoping that when put together, the artwork will spark conversation and encourage appreciation and stewardship towards preserving the natural heritage of this region. The artists responded with a wide range of media, techniques, and styles exploring the relationship between man and nature.

The collaboration with the Lyme Art Association, an organization with a long history of fostering art and the appreciation of the natural world, has been particularly fruitful. “The Lyme Art Association has its roots in a group of artists drawn from the city to this area because of its pastoral beauty,” explains Laurie Pavlos, Executive Director.  “Some pieces show a prevalence of man-made structures, but with a placid, non-judgemental atmosphere, and some convey real anxiety or concern regarding the future of the natural world in the face of human interference. The Connecticut River Valley is a wonderful setting for this topic since human efforts and industry have coexisted with the natural beauty of the area for many centuries.”

Hands on the Land: Art and the Environment in the Connecticut River Valley opens March 18th at the Connecticut River Museum and runs through October 10th, 2021. It travels to the Lyme Art Association, opening on November 19th and runs through January 2nd, 2022.

For a listing of our 40 artists, please click here.

Image: Bob Sweeney

This exhibit is funded in part by The Rockfall Foundation.

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